The online gambling player protection and standards authority, eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA), is planning to launch the world's largest online gambling research initiative which will provide the players' perspective of the online gaming industry.
Their goal is to get the opinions of 20,000 players through an internet based survey. This will be supplemented by focus groups in six of the industry's major markets - the United States, United Kindom, Japan, Canada, Germany and Sweden.
This survey is believed to be the first attempt to give the player community a voice and gather figures and feedback about their concerns and priorities for the online gambling industry.
Once the data is collected, research teams from Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nevada will start work on it to compile the "eCOGRA Global Gambler Report" for release in January 2007. The report will focus on who gambles, how frequently, why and with what consequences.
It will also provide an insight into players' attitudes on fair gaming, perceptions of operator conduct, customer service standards as well as differentiate between poker and casino players.
"We believe this is the first time that the industry has tried to really identify what its customers - the players - want and what motivates them. Online gambling attracts people from so many diverse regulatory regimes that it has been impossible up until now to conduct research of any scale," said Andrew Beveridge, CEO of eCOGRA. "It's essential that player concerns are fully understood by organizations like eCOGRA which provide the only effective monitoring and resolution protection procedures."
eCOGRA Generally Accepted Practices (eGAP) provide an international framework of operational and player protection standards, and its "Play it Safe" seal is currently the online gambling industry's only independently verified certification that consistently rechecks recipients through a globally recognized international auditing firm. eCOGRA's standards were recently accepted by the Philippines online gaming regulator, and they're in discussion with other national regulators that are also committed to player protection and fair gaming.
More than 60 leading online casino and poker room brands now carry the eCOGRA "Play It Safe" seal, which helps players identify Internet gambling venues that have voluntarily committed to independent, player protective regulation and continuous monitoring. View the list of eCOGRA approved sites at www.ecogra.com.